Our Man in Cannes: On the Ground at the International Advertising Festival

This week’s expert designer brings us the winners, the losers, and, most importantly, the parties from the annual Cannes Lions awards.


So I just landed in Cannes. I rented a car that looks like it has already bounced off of every tree in town…and smells like an ashtray…probably because it is an ashtray.


Let the games begin.

This will be my third Cannes Lions advertising festival in as many years and quite frankly, I’m expecting a very different experience. The first year, I was a spectator at best. Although I’d been in advertising my whole adult life, the spectacle of award shows always seemed like a vain and fruitless indulgence. I used to think that clients did not care about this silliness. But then I learned otherwise.

I figured you could not win at this game by standing on the sidelines complaining about the rules. Last year, we took things much more seriously. We entered our best work and worked the scene to recruit some amazing folks into our camp. The results? Well, they were disappointing. We were short listed on two projects–only to lose out at the end. We came so close, but it wasn’t enough.

What was most disturbing about the whole thing is that a number of big name Madison Avenue type agencies went home with all of the hardware for work that they outsourced to digital shops like ours. We were still obviously outsiders.

But we have big hopes this year. Cross your fingers for us.

It will all unfold here in this blog.


View the winners and those short-listed for Cannes Lions so far. Any early favorites?

Read more of Gaston Legorburu’s Creative Think Tank blog

Related: Introducing Guest Blogger Gaston Legorburu: Taking his “Think Tank” to Cannes

Browse blogs by other Expert Designers

Executive director and worldwide creative officer of Sapient, Legorburu has been a driving force in the evolution of the
interactive marketing business since co-founding Planning Group
International (PGI). Under his leadership, PGI became the largest
privately held interactive agency in the United States and was acquired
by Sapient in 2006.

Throughout his career, Legorburu has spearheaded some of the most
successful online campaigns in the history of the Internet. He has
partnered with clients in industries ranging from financial services
and travel and leisure to technology and food service.


He has helped cclients gain unparalleled insights into
effectively marketing their products and services in today’s
increasingly complex marketplace. Legorburu continues to provide
clients with forward-thinking answers to overcome their critical
business challenges.